News and Press Releases

Former Surgical Technician Sentenced For Medical Tampering

December 20, 2012

Tampa, FL - U.S. District Judge Mary S. Scriven sentenced Justin Brian Horan (27, formerly of Ocala) today to a term of 4 years and five months in federal prison for tampering with 23 vials of morphine and Versed (a sedative) while employed as a surgical technician at Oak Hill Hospital in Brooksville, Florida. Horan was initially arrested on December 8, 2011. He pleaded guilty to these charges on June 21, 2012.

On November 6, 2012, Horan was sentenced in a separate federal case. U.S. District Judge James S. Moody, Jr. sentenced Horan to a term of 2 years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Judge Scriven ordered the two-year term to run concurrent with the tampering sentence.

According to the plea agreement and facts presented at today's sentencing hearing, from 2003 until May 1, 2008, Horan was employed as an operating room or surgical technician, at Oak Hill Hospital. On May 7, 2008, a total of seventeen vials of single-use morphine and five vials of midazolam (or Versed) were found to be tampered with. Most of these tampered vials were found to be around 10% of their original strength. Horan tampered with the vials of morphine and Versed by substantially diluting the vials with saline, knowing that these vials were intended to be dispensed to patients at Oak Hill Hospital for pain relief and sedation. Horan admitted using syringes and dermabond, an adhesive material that was available in the operating room, to remove morphine and Versed from unused vials found in anesthesia boxes stored in the operating room pharmacy. He then refilled emptied vials with saline and "glued" the vial lids back on, to avoid detection. The vials were then returned to the pharmacy.

Horan admitted that he acted with reckless disregard for others, and extreme indifference to the risk of bodily injury to others. He also admitted to unlawfully removing blank prescriptions from Oak Hill Hospital. Two of these prescriptions were fraudulently completed, in Horan's name, and filled for 240 Oxycodone pills at a local pharmacy.

This case was investigated by the Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigation, Pasco and Hernando County Sheriff's Offices. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kelley C. Howard-Allen.









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